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Another Porcupine Tree Appreciation Thread

Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
5.1 is a form of surround sound.
Surround sound is a vague term used to describe various representations of multi-channel audio: Dolby ProLogic, Dolby Digital, SDDS, dts 6.1es, Neo:6, Master Audio, older SQ and QS, 10.2 and so on.
Yes, it's typical for 5.1 to be a discrete format, although it's not unheard of for 5.1 to include matrix-format content, too, with Dolby Digital 5.1ex and dts 5.1es being the most popular (back in the day).
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I have always heard surround sound as being representitive of a certain type of encoding, it was for a time also called A-B.
I thought the 5.1 format was more similar to 4 channel descrete, where the encoding is 4 entirely separate channels with equal ability to reproduce frequencies.
Whereas surround has the rear channels reproducing select frequencies.

I have one of the old Lafayette 4 channel decoders that can do the SQ format and I think the CD4 format as well. I outta hook it up to a system one day to see if it still works. I have some old SQ albums here as well.
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,120
\


I have always heard surround sound as being representitive of a certain type of encoding, it was for a time also called A-B.
I thought the 5.1 format was more similar to 4 channel descrete, where the encoding is 4 entirely separate channels with equal ability to reproduce frequencies.
Whereas surround has the rear channels reproducing select frequencies.

I have one of the old Lafayette 4 channel decoders that can do the SQ format and I think the CD4 format as well. I outta hook it up to a system one day to see if it still works. I have some old SQ albums here as well.
I have a couple oddities in quadrophonic, my favorite being the original "Dark Side of the Moon" 4 channel mix that Alan Parsons performed.
Alan took the original masters, transferred them to DTRS tape and we encoded them using the dts CAE encoder.
It plays back through any dts compatible home theater system and it sounds AMAZING.
I might have an old Zappa concert in quad, too, also dts encoded. Oh, and an old Buddy Rich Band live DVD that was originally released on vinyl in SQ.

To me, discrete surround is such that the playback system mimics the original source material; 5.1 discrete surround is sourced on 6 individual tracks/files and no 'channel smearing', information sharing or phase manipulation, etc...is performed.
Most popular modern surround sound is discrete. If it says 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 then it's probably generated from 6, 7 or 8 individual master tracks.
That said, there are always exceptions to the general rules and from my time working in the biz I learned that the term "discrete" was tossed around quite a bit, but analysis of the decoded file information revealed that things weren't always as "discrete" as they were marketed as being.
 

Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
I have a couple oddities in quadrophonic, my favorite being the original "Dark Side of the Moon" 4 channel mix that Alan Parsons performed.
Alan took the original masters, transferred them to DTRS tape and we encoded them using the dts CAE encoder.
It plays back through any dts compatible home theater system and it sounds AMAZING.
I might have an old Zappa concert in quad, too, also dts encoded. Oh, and an old Buddy Rich Band live DVD that was originally released on vinyl in SQ.

To me, discrete surround is such that the playback system mimics the original source material; 5.1 discrete surround is sourced on 6 individual tracks/files and no 'channel smearing', information sharing or phase manipulation, etc...is performed.
Most popular modern surround sound is discrete. If it says 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 then it's probably generated from 6, 7 or 8 individual master tracks.
That said, there are always exceptions to the general rules and from my time working in the biz I learned that the term "discrete" was tossed around quite a bit, but analysis of the decoded file information revealed that things weren't always as "discrete" as they were marketed as being.
Ok, my point was that I always had heard surround being referred to as a completely different thing than discrete.
And yeah, even the CD4 stuff wasn't truly "discrete" , I think it was just the best word they had to describe it at the time.

I knew a guy that had Dark Side in quad back in the late 70s, he told me that the cash register sounds on Money went from speaker to speaker every time it rang.
Is that right?
I would think Dark Side to be the holy grail of quad albums.
I have a bunch of them here, I have, I think, all of the early Santana albums in SQ, back when Gregg Rollie was the main guy in Santana.

I would kind of like to get into the 5.1 thing, but man, I just don't have time to delve into it. Between gigs and dealing with the getting old health things and keeping my property up, I just don't have the energy to start something else.
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,120
Ok, my point was that I always had heard surround being referred to as a completely different thing than discrete.
And yeah, even the CD4 stuff wasn't truly "discrete" , I think it was just the best word they had to describe it at the time.
Gotcha. Some of it is semantics, but it's easier and probably more commonplace to refer to all of the various multi-channel audio formats as "surround sound" regardless if they're discrete or not.

I knew a guy that had Dark Side in quad back in the late 70s, he told me that the cash register sounds on Money went from speaker to speaker every time it rang.
Is that right?
I would think Dark Side to be the holy grail of quad albums.
I have a bunch of them here, I have, I think, all of the early Santana albums in SQ, back when Gregg Rollie was the main guy in Santana.
Yes, the cash registers do move from speaker to speaker.
And I'd agree with the "Holy Grail" assessment, but I'd say that it only pertains to the quad version and not the SACD released from almost a decade ago.
Frankly, that mix sucks. And that's me being nice.

I would kind of like to get into the 5.1 thing, but man, I just don't have time to delve into it. Between gigs and dealing with the getting old health things and keeping my property up, I just don't have the energy to start something else.
I hear you. A modern surround system can be an undertaking, but good quality doesn't have to be complicated nor expensive, relatively speaking.
My main home system is an older Yamaha "theater in a box" rig that is nearly 12 years old and still sounds great, imho.
I am due for a new a/v receiver though as all of the HDMI-equipped crap that now exists in the cabinet in the other room would function much simpler if I switched the a AND the v through the receiver.
 

hawkeye17

Member
Messages
1,064
Huge fan of Porcupine Tree myself and I can't wait for Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt's "Storm Corrosion" collaboration coming out in a couple months. That's easily my most anticipated album release of this year.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,740
I saw PT open for Yes in '02.
They did 'In Absentia' start to finish.
Gavin Harrison OWNED...as did Steven Wilson.
Hell, the whole band kicked from the start of the opening tune, 'Blackest Eyes'. :eek: :bow

S.
j
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,120

ErikR

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
106
Wow...didn't realize that In Absentia was commanding such high $$. Can't remember - did he either win or get nominated for a Grammy for that mix?

Would highly recommend Deadwing and Stupid Dream, which I think can be found reasonably.

I have a collection of everything - I think - that SW has created in 5.1 (PT, Bass Communion, No-Man, solo work), and love the feeling of just being immersed within the music. Even the Opeth stuff and King Crimson that he mixed/remixed are stunning, though I have yet to invest in Aqualung. Hoping that gets released in a version that doesn't require the full box set at some point.

Good example of 5.1 really giving a new perspective is the song 4 Chords off Lightbulb Sun. Could never really appreciate that one until I heard it in 5.1 - all the difference in the world.

Took a while to put together a good system, and have upgraded pieces over the years, but it is the investment that I refuse to part with, even recently moving from a fairly large house to a small apartment - made it fit!

Anesthetize on DVD and Blu-Ray has to be one of the best live performances available, form both visual and audio standpoints.



Yeah, sadly most of the 5.1 stuff is all pressed in limited numbers.
I only have In Absentia and Deadwing in surround and the Arriving Somewhere DVD.

You could get this for $15...
http://www.amazon.com/Lightbulb-Sun...1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1332525098&sr=1-1-catcorr
 

ChicagoFraize

Member
Messages
1,330
PT is a GREAT band!! Saw them in Chicago April 2010...incredible.
Gavin is one of THE most musical drummers around...absolutely terrific.

I love everything from In Abesntia on.....Fear of a Blank Planet is waaay cool.

The Steven Wilson solo releases are a must too, especially Grace for Drowning....
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,120
And while some people disagree, the Nil Recurring EP is just wonderful.
PT's out-takes and toss-away songs are better than so many other artists' serious releases.
 




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